You're never too old to become younger.
"I can't do some of the things old folks do any more. I'm not as old as I used to be." Bate
I knew an actor years ago, we were about the same age, who, when we reached our 30's began to talk about all the things that were going to go wrong with our bodies. Soon this was going to fall apart and that was going to go and we would start having trouble with the other thing. He was literally talking his way into old age and trying to take me with him. I was determined to reject his appraisal of growing older. But I guess some of it rubbed off on me because when I was 35 another actor friend said I reminded him of a old fogy.
That remark made me sit up and take inventory of myself. I wasn't an old fogy, I was just acting like one. So I improved my mentality and began to think of myself as young.
When I was in my early 50's I accidentally ran into the first actor in a restaurant in New York. I felt in my prime and looked it. He looked terrible and old. My friends asked me who the old man was. I had to admit, sadly, that we were the same age.
I learned how much an attitude can affect a result. The actor had been forced to give up his career at an early age and carry around with him a double yoke of infirmity and decrepitude. While I had pulled myself out of that pit by rejecting those suggestions he fell more deeply into it.
Now, 20 years later, I have found myself in the same joyful rejection. It's not that I don't have the problems that confront age, it's that I reject the idea that I have to succumb to them and allow them the prerogative of defining me as a miserable old wreck.
Oh, I almost went for it. An option to relax into uselessness presented itself with a smile and an handshake. I almost agreed with the diagnosis my thoughts were giving me. But I didn't need a friend to tell me I was an old fogy. I had learned the lesson.
Ten years ago I worked with an actor who was well into his 80's and going strong. Those are the people I want to emulate now. He had a bad knee which was eventually replaced, but he had a joyous and energetic attitude, and after the knee replacement he went on working.
So I'm a senior citizen, a coot, a geezer, a curmudgeonly bag of bones, but I'm no fogy and I'm not as old as I used to be.
DB - The Vagabond
(This is not a contest.)
At what event of the past do you wish you could be present? Why?
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